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Usman Qadir destroys Zimbabwe in lethal spell to wrap up series sweep for Pakistan
Match Report

Usman Qadir destroys Zimbabwe in lethal spell to wrap up series sweep for Pakistan

Usman Qadir ripped apart Zimbabwe during a vicious spell of bowling before debutant Abdullah Shafique headlined a flawless chase as Pakistan clinched a dominant victory in the third T20I at Rawalpindi.

The emphatic win attained by Pakistan helped them complete a series whitewash over Zimbabwe, extending their unbeaten run against the opposition to 14 T20Is in a row.

Zimbabwe had actually gotten off to a flier, taking Haris Rauf to the cleaners in the second over of the innings by plundering him for three boundaries.

The aggressive start initiated by skipper Chamu Chibhabha and senior wicketkeeper Brendan Taylor was dented by a timely strike from Imad Wasim, who induced a mistimed slog from the latter as Khushdil Shah held onto the catch amid a juggling effort.

The brakes applied by Pakistan's spin duo of Wasim and Qadir resulted in a flurry of wickets during the middle overs as Zimbabwe were deprived of the momentum to surge to a respectable total.

Qadir struck on the second delivery of his incisive four-over spell when Chibhabha (31) top-edged an ambitious pull shot.

Qadir's superb guile and dexterity was on full display in the 13th over of Zimbabwe's innings when he dismissed the in-form Wesley Madhevere and youngster Milton Shumba in the space of four balls.

Qadir outfoxed Shumba by a tossed up googly that beat him all ends up, keeping him stranded outside the crease while Mohammad Rizwan showcased lightning glovework to remove the bails.

Madhevere then fell victim to a classic leg-spinner's dismissal as he fended off a sharply turning delivery to captain Babar Azam perfectly stationed in the slips.

Qadir's fourth scalp in the game was Elton Chigumbura, whose hopes of ending his international career on a high note were curtailed by an ill-fated sweep shot.

Although Qadir outshone his compatriot bowlers with stellar figures of four for 13, Imad also picked two wickets in his economical spell.

In reply, Babar shied away from walking out into the middle as Zimbabwe's inexperienced bowling attack was rendered toothless in the face of rapid run-scoring.

Pakistan's chase began in a quiet manner with Fakhar Zaman finding it hard to pierce the gaps. Fakhar's woeful run of form prolonged with another flop show as he departed for a timid 24-ball 21.

On the other end, Shafique gradually grew in confidence and freed his arms in an exuberant stay at the crease.

Shafique was aided by electrifying contributions from Haider Ali and Khushdil. The belligerent southpaw, in particular, launched three towering maximums in his explosive 36 not out off 15 balls to power Pakistan towards the target at a canter.

Shafique top-scored with a dynamic 41 not out from 33 balls as Pakistan downed the 130-run target with 28 balls to spare.